Five people of the same British Asian family, including a nine-week-old baby and her two young brothers, have died in a ferocious fire that swept through their home in Sheffield last night.
The dead have been named locally as Shabina Begum, 55, her daughter Anum Parvaiz, 20, and children Adhyan, 9, Amaan, 7 and their infant sister.
According to reports the grandmother had initially escaped the fire, which broke out around midnight on Sunday, only to rush back into the house to rescue her family.
The children’s parents had been away at the time of the fire and are now being comforted by family.
Distraught relatives have said the deaths are a ‘tragedy beyond description’ because ‘within five minutes five precious lives were lost’.
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, in a statement, said the fire had been one of the most severe it has had to content with and investigations are underway to determine what caused it.
A relative of the family described the matriarch as a “mother” to the three children. “The whole community is in huge shock. It’s a tragedy beyond description”, Mr Hussein Kayani said.
Brothers Adhyan (Left) and Amaan (Right) with their father Nazim Parwaiz
Mr Kayani added:”‘It’s so sad. A couple of hours ago the whole family was leading their normal life – quite prosperous, happy. You can well imagine what the children’s parents are going through. I don’t have the words to describe how the family is feeling other than shell-shocked, devastated.”
Four fire engines were called to the scene and an aerial ladder was also used to tackle the blaze.
Police and ambulance services also rushed to the house after receiving emergency calls.